Zero Emission in Freight:

Rail & Locomotive

The rail industry remains one of the most significant sources of environmental injustice impacting our communities. We live near railyards and freight rail routes, where some of the dirtiest switcher and line-haul locomotives belch diesel pollution into our neighborhood everyday, often just feet from our homes, schools, and workplaces. In order to address the impacts from locomotives and rail yards, Moving Forward Network (MFN) demands comprehensive regulations that center the needs of frontline and fenceline workers and communities.

MFN’s Demands on Rail & Locomotives

MFN demands that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) do the following to begin to address the public health, dirty air, and climate crises exacerbated by locomotive and railyard pollution.

Adopt a rulemaking before the end of 2023.

Include in the rulemaking a Tier 5 zero-emission locomotive standard for all new freight locomotives that requires:

A.) 100% of all new switchers be zero-emission by 2025.
B.) 100% of all new line-hauls be zero-emission by 2030.

Require the forced retirement and scrappage of all locomotives or locomotive engines that do not meet a Tier 5 zero-emission standard by 2045.

Set emission standards for all remanufactured locomotives and locomotive engines, so that:

A.) 100% of all remanufactured switchers meet the Tier 4 standard by 2025.
B.) 100% of all line-haul locomotives meet the Tier 4 standard by 2027.

Use the authority in section 108(f)(1)(C) of the Clean Air Act to identify strategies to clean up the toxic hot spots associated with rail and railyard activities.

Work with frontline and fenceline communities to create a strategy to eliminate pollution burdens from concentrated railyard operations.

Photo by Sam Levitan

MFN’s Public Comments

Phase 3 Greenhouse Gas Rule Public Comments

The following comments on the U.S. EPA’s proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards for Heavy-Duty Vehicles-Phase 3. These comments are specific to the rail and locomotive section Moving Forward Network-Docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2022-0985-Rail and Locomotive-June 16, 2023. The following are submitted by the over 50 organizations that comprise the MFN.


Read submitted comments on

MFN’s Letter to the EPA demanding environmental justice and equity across the rail and locomotive sector for our communities now!

On March 15, 2023, MFN submitted this letter to the EPA which illustrates the need for EPA to prioritize environmental justice in rail impacted communities by aggressively advancing zero-emission technology and solutions across the freight sector.

As stated in the letter, there is a critical need for immediate actions to be taken. With people’s health on the line, the EPA must move a Zero Emissions agenda, which crosses the rail and locomotive transportation sector and prioritizes environmental justice communities.

It’s time that EPA takes action!